Thursday, April 23, 2009

Paying it Forward

Today, after I dropped my dog off at the groomer, I was headed up to Minneapolis to pick up a check for car repairs when I passed a car on the shoulder.

(About my car getting hit - I was parked at a curb while MJ came down from her office to go to lunch and this guy parallel parked himself right into my driver's side door. Now, I'm a bad parallel parker but even I have never been 5 feet off my mark. Rather than go through the rigmarole of filing an insurance claim, the guy offered to just cut me a check for the repairs.)

The flashers were on and the back tire was totally flat. I pulled over to help. Lord knows that could have been me, stranded and needing help, and she was standing there on her cellphone, distress signals coming off her in waves. I couldn’t drive past her. It takes me about 10 minutes to change a tire, having done it MANY TIMES on many different cars, including twice in one week on the same car. I figured I could have her back on the road in no time.

After we shoveled aside the HUGE pile of crap in her trunk (note to self, clean out your trunk in the event some stranger might have to go through it), I discovered that her spare was flat.

Shit. My good deed for the day just got a lot more complicated. I jacked up her car, pulled off the original flat, loaded it into the trunk of my little car and drove it and her to a tire place to have a new tire put on.

Half an hour later, I drove her back to her car, helped her put the new tire back on, and sent her on her way.

Get this – she was a stripper on her way to her afternoon shift. She was incredibly sweet, very grateful for my help, and eager to buy me lunch or pay me for my time.

I waved her off. I need an infusion of good karma and I couldn’t stomach the idea of taking money from a young woman that had just spent the last half hour gushing about how adorable her nine month old baby is.

But this means there will be a lesson posted very soon about how to change a tire.

For now, I want you to go out to your car and check your spare. Make sure it has air in it! If not, go straight to a gas station and fill it up, please. The Good Samaritan who stops to help you change a flat will be grateful.


NGS said...

Oh, dude. This is totally why they invented AAA. Hee.

I learned how to both check air in my tires and change a flat in driver's ed and haven't done it again since!! I am cool like that!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it amazing how many women cannot change a tire? I had a flat recently, on I-35 just before the merge, and I changed it myself. I was surprised at how many people thought my husband should have come to rescue me. Granted, I was a little nervous with the cars whizzing by and I had to dig through the snow to find the lugnut that somehow flew out of my pocket, but I managed just fine. That was the second flat tire on that car in the span of 3 days, so I hope my tire karma is good for awhile.